An e-mail to my cousin, after "Selected Shorts" at the Symphony space and a subway ride to Penn:
All I was driving at was that I don't think Pixar sequels usually turn out very well. But
damn, if someone could do a good "Incredibles" sequel, I would worship
that person. I think the problem is that a truly good "Incredibles"
sequel could only involve the characters continuing to age, becoming
more complicated, and dealing with more adult situations--kinda like
every other superhero movie in the universe should already be doing, but
somehow isn't. It never ceases to bother me that superhero movies are
pretty much solidly sixty years behind comics in terms of the depth of
the stories they tell. NYARGH. I actually think "Incredibles" is
already the deepest, most adult superhero movie that's maybe ever been
made. There are some serious, dark, deeply conservative, almost fascist
(or anarchist) arguments being made by that movie, and creepily, you
can see where the characters are coming from as they stare down the
barrel of a gun. Mrs. Incredible on the island, admonishing her kids
*not to take time to think or doubt* if they found themselves in danger
("And doubt is a luxury we
can't afford anymore, sweetie. You have more power than you realize. Don't
think. And don't worry") cuts particularly deep.
and "Batman"-wise, I was so happy to find out from you that the New
Yorker had trashed "Dark Knight Rises" (I couldn't remember if it had
trashed "Dark Knight" too, so I looked, and oh boy yes. Side note: I
LOVE ANTHONY LANE and I'm so happy you do to--but the "Dark Knight"
review, at least, was written by David Denby. Sigh. Side side note:
look up Anthony Lane's "Star Wars Episode 1" review if you ever want to
get a schadenfreude/sadism kick that'll last you through the day.)
But seriously, most reviewers of "DKR" loved it, just like most
reviewers of "TDK" loved it. The difference is that people sincerely
worshiped the second movie (wrongly, I think, but hey) whereas my theory
is they only loved the third one because they felt they should. And
that came out in these weird little moments in each fawning review where
they'd suddenly mention something like, "sure, maybe it's too long and
badly written and kinda incoherent, BUT..." It was like watching the
zeitgeist realize it had a pimple on the day of its high school photo.
Thanks so much for taking me to the Symphony Space!